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TurboTax software and self-employment

gunnerzgunnerz 292 replies44 threads Member
Does anyone who's self-employed have experience feedback on using TurboTax software to file taxes?

Can you just plug in numbers for a Schedule C?
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Replies to: TurboTax software and self-employment

  • thumper1thumper1 77957 replies3488 threads Senior Member
    I’m not self employed...but when i was buying my TT Deluxe...I noticed one next to it for business owners.

    Maybe someone can comment on this!
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  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie 2474 replies0 threads Senior Member
    At this point I think you need to buy TurboTax Premiere to do self-employment tax return. I have been using TT to prepare self employment tax return for about 15 years and haven't had any problems. Its interview process walks you through self-employment matters. Then in subsequent years it will know that you have had self employment income and asks those specific questions again. At one point, I used TurboTax Deluxe. A few years back they switched so that the forms I need are not available on Deluxe and I had to upgrade to Premier. Cost was not significant ($15-20 maybe). Now I just get Premier.

    Because I keep a folder with all of our tax forms/docs during the year as they are developed/created, it takes me less than an hour to complete my tax returns each year (fed, state and local). Takes me longer to do my kids' taxes (also using TT) but that's just because it has been first year for them. Big benefit of TT to me (or any tax software used year to year) is that all of the basics flow through to next years returns. Even refunds/additional payments flow through as well.
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  • HMom16HMom16 774 replies19 threads Member
    You need to get the version that says "For Home and Business". It has a questionnaire that you complete and then it fills in the appropriate schedules based on your answers. If you use Quickbooks, I believe you can import your info from there - but I would definitely check that the imported data goes in the correct place.
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  • YnotgoYnotgo 3882 replies58 threads Senior Member
    I've been using TurboTax Home and Business for years. It can step you through all the information you need to enter on the Schedule C.
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13236 replies247 threads Senior Member
    I use it, I'm self employed, have also used TaxAct. Like @saillakeerie I find it's quick and easy if I have my info ready to go.

    It walks me through my business income and expenses and fills out the Sched C for me. I have 3 businesses and
    it's no issue to do them all, same process for each.

    I wish it handled the AOTC stuff better. But i wish that of all of the tax prep programs I've tried.
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  • calmomcalmom 20862 replies168 threads Senior Member
    I'm self-employed and did my Taxes with Turbo Tax Deluxe. No problem, it does the Schedule C just fine, and calculates self-employment tax as well as related things like maximum SEP-IRA amount and reconciling the self-employed health insurance deduction with ACA premium credit. Also figures depreciation, vehicle expenses, home office deduction. I'm not aware of anything it can't do.

    I am a freelancer, no employees. I do have to prepare and send a 1099 to one person each year, and the Turbo Tax doesn't do it, but I just use an online service for that that costs me less than $3.

    The only reason I used the Deluxe over the Basic is that I need to do a state return as well.

    I don't see the point of paying +$40 for the Home and Business version. There is a comparison chart here: https://turbotax.intuit.com/personal-taxes/cd-download/

    The only thing extra I see is the ability to create W2 and 1099 forms. Everything else seems to be "guiding", and I don't need any guiding. I know what my expenses are, and I track everything in Quicken so it doesn't take me much time at all to do the return. I think the extra "guidance" would be a more complicated questionnaire, probably asking me more questions about things that don't apply to me.

    If you go to the page I linked above, underneath each version there is a link to "view forms" -- there are four links under each of the four product versions -- but all 4 go to the same page at https://turbotax.intuit.com/personal-taxes/irs-forms/

    The software gives plenty of options to upgrade if you buy a lower version and then later decide you want to spend more money for something you think the higher version can do.


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  • colfac92colfac92 374 replies6 threads Member
    Likewise, we use TurboTax Deluxe to do the Schedule C's for the portion of our income that comes from self-employment, without any problems. When you get to that part of the program, it does pop up a notice that there are other versions of the software that are more comprehensive in the guidance provided, but it still allows you to forge ahead with Deluxe. Looking at the comparison chart link calmom posted, if you are landlord with rental properties you might need the Premier edition.

    IIRC, several years ago there was a big hullabaloo because Intuit took the business stuff out of the standard version of TurboTax (in attempt to get people to upgrade), but did so without proper notice to subscribers and ultimately had to capitulate and give free upgrades to those subscribers who expected and needed access to those forms. We were one of those, and I think that's how it worked out.
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  • ourtownourtown 80 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Ditto, we also use TurboTax Deluxe to complete the Schedule C portion of self-employment income reporting -- I have found their screen prompts to be straight-forward and without problems since we began using in 2014 -- already received refund from this year's e-filing. We have full-time employment in addition to this, the income is just a side individual consulting piece, so didn't see any value-add in paying more for the next level; if payroll and/or asset depreciation is part of the self-employment filing then I would imagine the need for the business version.

    I believe TurboTax does allow you to buy up to the next version for the price difference if you find you need more features than the version purchased, but have not personally tested that out.
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  • deb922deb922 6274 replies201 threads Senior Member
    I just did that, purchased an add on for the business turbo tax. My D received a 1099 for a side job she does. It was easy to upgrade and fill in the schedule C. It was an amazing extra $40 plus tax

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  • calmomcalmom 20862 replies168 threads Senior Member
    But why upgrade? As far as I know even the Basic version will properly caculate a Schedule C and suporting SE tax forms.
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  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie 2474 replies0 threads Senior Member
    According to the TT website Premier and Home & Business include:

    "Designed for the self-employed and small businesses, including independent contractors, consultants and freelancers."

    That is not covered by basic or Deluxe (at least according to their site).
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  • GTalumGTalum 3079 replies25 threads Senior Member
    Mine works fine with deluxe.
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  • calmomcalmom 20862 replies168 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2018
    @saillakeerie -- that's marketing because TurboTax likes your money. But all version of TurboTax can handle the calculations and forms needed for self employment.

    If you read my post above, you'll see that I found that all 4 versions come with the exact same forms included.

    The Home & Business does seem to have the capability to prepare W2's and 1099's -- I don't know if it also will efile those for you or what that might cost ---but if I had regular employees I'd be using a payroll service, not TurboTax, to handle all of the W2 stuff.
    edited February 2018
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  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie 2474 replies0 threads Senior Member
    @calmom I read your post above. Your experience is different than mine. Before I became self-employed, I used Turbo Tax Deluxe because I had to file a state return. For the first few years that I was self-employed, Deluxe worked fine. Then in the year noted above by others, TT changed its pricing structure and pushed some forms to Premier. When preparing my taxes that year (I purchased Deluxe because I was unaware of the change at the time of purchase), I was told by the software that I needed to upgrade to Premier to complete my return. Maybe its a matter of different types of self-employment income? Not sure.
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  • calmomcalmom 20862 replies168 threads Senior Member
    Yes, I know what happened that year. TurboTax got a log of blow back and complaints (and lost customers)-- so the year after that they went back to the way things were before.

    Are you using the downloadable version (desktop) or online-- that might be where the difference is. I use the downloadable software and that's what Ilinked to.

    So it was a one-year only thing with Turbo Tax (and I think that @colfac92 is right that TT ended up having to give refunds that year) ... and then since that time it's pretty much back to the old system.

    So the answer to the the OP's question for 2017 taxes is:

    1. If @gunnerz is using the downloadable software, then all versions will provide all needed forms and calculations for Schedule C, except preparation of W2 & 1099.

    2. If using the online software with self-employment income only, no expenses, the online "Deluxe" option is sufficient.

    3.If using the online software with both self-employment income and expenses, then the "Self-Employed" version is needed .


    I have already completed my 2017 Return. I used Turbo Tax Deluxe (downloadable), purchased from Amazon.

    I have two schedule C businesses; a variety of expenses; a home office; business use of car; self-employed health insurance exchange (with an exchange-purchased policy); and a SEP IRA. TurboTax filled out all of the forms and did all the calculations.

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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13236 replies247 threads Senior Member
    Yes, I know what happened that year. TurboTax got a log of blow back and complaints (and lost customers)-- so the year after that they went back to the way things were before.

    YUP! I also contacted TT to complain that year and they gave me the upgrade for free.
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  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie 2474 replies0 threads Senior Member
    My recollection is I bought TT Deluxe the year after the problem year and had the same issue (was told when preparing my return I had to upgrade to Premier). Since then I have just started with Premier. Self employment income is reflected on a K-1. Not sure if that makes a difference. I won't even have that form until next month so I never have my taxes filed before early to mid April.

    For the OP (or anyone looking at using tax software for self employment income) seems to me like it makes sense to get the TT Deluxe and upgrade if you need it to complete your return.
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13236 replies247 threads Senior Member
    There are also free options for those with incomes below 66K (33K in the case of TT) and/or meet various criteria (military, EITC, certain states, etc).

    https://apps.irs.gov/app/freeFile/jsp/index.jsp
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  • calmomcalmom 20862 replies168 threads Senior Member
    @saillakeerie - I think that with the Deluxe, when I start entering the self-employment data, the software pops up an invitation to upgrade, but the upgrade isn't necessary-- it's just offering extra bells and whistles. But I can certainly see how someone might interpret that popup as a required updgrade. I'm just the type of person who reads the small print.

    I know for certain that the Deluxe currentliy handles K-1 income and appropriate forms.

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  • gunnerzgunnerz 292 replies44 threads Member
    Which do you recommend: download the software or the online version?
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